Collapse Fatigue

By Mr. and Mrs. Cog

When we initially awaken and realize life is not what we were taught, inner alarms scream for our attention. Even though we can sense a danger we didn’t previously perceive, we cannot judge how close it is. There is no scale to measure proximity, only the palpable fear of a real and present danger.

Naturally, most of us will desperately grasp for answers. How can this be? What does this mean? What do I do now? And who is to blame?

We need answers! Or at least we think we do.

As we search for answers, we find there is no shortage of players who are more than willing to supply us with all the answers to our now life changing questions. Most of these people speak with a voice of absolute authority, stating factoids and tidbits with complete certainty and conviction. Naturally they insist their truth must be your truth, for only a fool and still asleep sheep would reject self evident 'truth'.

Scared and desperate for answers, we eagerly listen to those who are brimming with explanations. We quickly discover the alternative media, where much of this information is promoted, is populated by a whole herd of people who arrived long before us, thereby seemingly affirming this new stream of stories and explanations as correct. Many of us find ourselves quickly, even gratefully, moving from our old herd to the new one.

Similar in structure to the world we are now rejecting, the alternative herd has many factions, some quite cohesive, others more fractured and splintered. There are survivalists, preppers, the woo-woo crowd, the intellectuals, the political activists, the militants and so on. There appear to be an unlimited number of cubbyholes where all sorts of kooks, geeks, homesteaders, healers and revolutionaries hang out. Just when you think you've seen it all, you see another.

Within these groups there are many opposing approaches and opinions. Often, the same silliness and unnecessary drama we all experienced in junior high school, the office or perhaps within uncomfortable family situations, exists in these new venues where we find ourselves seeking answers.

The same propaganda techniques originally used to keep us in the dark about life are also employed in the alternative media. Scare tactics, faulty reasoning, ad hominem attacks and the always popular “science has proved…” or “history has shown…” neatly sum up tidy arguments for why you should now view life a particular way.....their way.

We tell ourselves we're looking for truth. However, “the” truth is singular. The alternative media arrogantly claims a monopoly on truth in no uncertain terms. No chance they could be wrong, intentionally infiltrated with misinformation. Right? There are few along the way who will tell you there may be many truths, or that the truth for you may different than for me.

Eventually we find some perspective, even if it's not the warm and fuzzy narrative the mainstream media often provides, then swallow hard and carry on. We create a new narrative to tell ourselves in order to try to make sense of all this new information. We begin to change some of our behaviors. Some of us change everything. Or at least we think we do.

As many of our readers know, after considering ex-patting (moving to another country) we chose a drastic lifestyle change and moved to our small mountain homestead here in Southwestern Virginia. By way of blogging about our experiences, we have talked to dozens of individuals and families who have either physically relocated or introduced at times radical changes into their lifestyle as a result of what they learned.

After several years of conversation a very interesting pattern has slowly emerged.

We prepare and ready ourselves for (  fill in the blank  ). And we wait. It feels similar to a long wait at the oncologist’s office, a place we most certainly don’t wish to be. We dash to our appointment to see the doctor, then wait and wait in the reception area. We hurry to complete additional tests, then we wait and wait for the lab results. We rush to infuse the toxic drug cocktail, then we wait and and wait for the terrible side effects, all while praying for remission. It's always hurry up and wait.

None of us actually wants what we are waiting for. But if it must happen, hurry up and bring it on so we can rip the band-aid off and move on.

The socioeconomic collapse, the disintegration of social and individual morals, the unraveling of the (perceived) American Dream, the fall of the American Empire, the foreseeable and potentially catastrophic interruption of goods and services, fossil fuel shortages, even the complete domination by the military/industrial/financial/big pharma complex has all turned into one big ball of hurry up and wait.

While we wait, each of us reassesses the costs and benefits of many of our previous decisions, then quietly adjust our inner narrative to align with our new findings. Lots of wiggle room can be found here to be used and abused.

Whether or not we are well adjusted to our new routine and altered mentality, we begin a fierce bargaining process with ourselves. This can often be heavily influenced by friends and family not being on board with the extreme changes we have made to our lives. Little or no personal affirmation can be garnered anymore from our formerly dependable emotional allies. Suddenly we are alone.

When we were an accepted member of the “normal people” herd, and in particular our own personal pod, we could get a quick pat on the back and the needed approval simply for wearing the right outfit, gossiping well at the water cooler or rooting for the right sports team. We could extract glowing admiration and unlimited confirmation endorphins if our display of wealth through luxury cars, fancy houses and high end accessories showed we excelled over others. Even the lowly trailer park has its own version of this tawdry behavior.

But then we woke up a bit and nothing looked as it once did. Worse, no matter how badly we want to be reinserted back into the matrix, we cannot un-know what we now know. Even if we pretend to ignore it, we can't put the toothpaste back into the tube.

So we trudge forward. And we continue to hurry up and wait. And wait. And wait some more.

tired of waiting

Now, collapse is a funny thing. Ultimately it is very personal, even though we tend to see it more as a process or societal event. For those who have already lost their job, their home or the secure structure that once defined their life, the collapse is already here. And those slowly bleeding out clearly see the collapse just around the corner.

This demoralizing 'reality' contrasts with those who still live within an insulated environment, often those who still receive massive infusions of government sourced money. For them, there has been no dramatic change in their reality. "What collapse?" they say. "I see nothing of the sort."

We find them living within the ever expanding Washington DC suburbs, the closest you can physically get to the government cash register. Or the many college towns still bursting with economic activity paid for mostly with government backed student loans. And at hundreds of hospitals, along with the cluster of doctors and specialists offices huddled around them, all fed by direct infusion of health insurance, welfare, Obamacare and Big Pharma payments. There are many other examples, but you get the picture.

People who claim some awareness of things not being right will point their finger at the so-called sheep who trudge along day after day unthinkingly supporting the slowly decaying systems. And most of us who point fingers are quick to declare we are not them. We understand the evils now. We know it is unsustainable. We have taken action to address what we see happening. Whether this is actually true is beside the point. We believe it to be true, therefore it is 'truth'....for us.

So we continue to hurry up and wait. And wait. And wait some more.

At first, the extended waiting is a blessing in disguise. We have time to maneuver. We can make preparatory purchases and adjust our behavior. All of those answers we embodied to create our version of the truth can be acted upon. It’s all a grand bargaining with, and within, ourselves.

As part of the bargaining we might tell ourselves if we grow food and preserve it, we will not go hungry if (  fill in the blank  ) happens. You know, so we can sleep a little better at night. Or if we grow those herbs and stock up on these teas, essential oils and some colloidal silver, we can treat or prevent many illnesses, thereby reducing our need for hospitals and doctors. Perhaps we purchase a quality axe and various other manual tools to back up the chain saw and other gas dependent conveniences we all take for granted. We should be sleeping even better now.

So we continue to bargain with ourselves in order to move forward. But ultimately, we are still waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more.

For many, the waiting becomes exhausting. And with exhaustion comes fatigue. We refer to this as collapse fatigue.

We have found many who had previously relocated have chosen to return to the cities or burbs where they can once again experience easy access to modern conveniences and social networks. There they find the affirmation they long for, which often comes from attending social events, shopping and getting together with friends and family for fun activities. By returning, perhaps they can get back to a more 'normal' existence since the crash/collapse/interruption of systems never seems to arrive.

Others who never relocated, but did make major changes to their way of life, grow weary, a bit embarrassed even, and are throwing in the towel and returning to more comfortable and convenient ways. Turning the back yard into a garden was a great deal of work compared to popping down to the local Stop & Shop for a store roasted chicken and a 'fresh' salad in a bag. Don't forget the false facade called dressing.

Besides, the neighbors were always making rude comments and no one was supportive. Worse, because zoning laws prevent or severally limit raising livestock, solar panels on the roof and rain collection systems, how self-sufficient could they have become anyway? At least that's what they tell themselves.

And then there are those who adjust well to their new life. They show few signs of fatigue or regret for turning their lives upside-down. We think the difference is that at some point, either before or during their self transformation, they began moving towards the concept of a more physically rewarding and emotionally healthy future, rather than running away from perceived dangers, real or otherwise. Geographic cures rarely work, while personal transformation often does.

By moving toward an embodied vision of what it means to live well, to be safe and secure, life stops depending upon specific events to occur, or other people waking to join our new herd, for us to be happy, healthy and well adjusted to our new surroundings. When we begin to create our own reality because we want to, rather than because we feel we need to, only then can we free ourselves from the need for constant confirmation that anchored us to the self destructive world we once lived within.

Once we free our mind from the ties that bind us to our chains, we can more easily walk away from the need to be constantly confirmed in an old way of life that is neither natural nor healthy. The reason we desperately seek affirmation is because we all know deep down within our inner being that the old ways are addictive and self destructive. This truth is self evident, regardless how strong our denial may be.

The common thread for those who awaken, yet do not suffer from collapse fatigue, seems to be finding some degree of inner peace. The way forward is always rough, full of roadblocks and potholes, with two steps forward and one (or two) back. It can be a lengthy and frustrating process if we are reluctant participants.

The biggest stumbling block appears to be pangs of loneliness and isolation, the feeling no one really sees life as we do. Most of us find it very hard to function without the affirmation of the herd to assure us we are on the right track. We are programmed from birth to crave verification, especially when what we wish verified is contrary to our very nature.

But at the end of the day, just before we fall asleep, ultimately we are alone in our head. Upon awakening, it remains the same. When facing decisions throughout our day, no matter who else is in our life, we are the only one inside our mind thinking and reasoning through the choices. Once we accept we are indeed ultimately alone, we come to realize we, all of us, are united together in our aloneness. It is then we cease to be lonely. It turns out to find the others we must look within.

By doing so we free ourselves to think critically and outside the conditioned confines of the box, regardless of whether we think others will approve or not. Our point of view no longer needs to be validated solely by the crashing of the system we still quasi operate within and depend upon. The urgency to hurry fades as we are no longer on an endless treadmill to beat the coming (   fill in the blank   ). This is the result of heading here and not away from there. Since there is no waiting, there is no collapse fatigue.

If we can perceive our awakening as the gift it truly is, then begin the self work needed to achieve some degree of inner peace, this new state of mind, body and soul enables each of us to get back to the business of living life rather than just gaming ways to survive it. For some of us, it feels as if we are living life for the very first time. Free to question everything without being required to accept anything, we can begin to create a new reality regardless of our geographic location.

After experiencing the initial blossoming of true inner peace, it becomes contagious and feeds upon itself. We give ourselves permission to reject stories and narratives we are told without the pressing need for an alternative 'truth' to fill the resulting vacuum. Suddenly the carnival barkers who permeate the alternative media lose much of their luster and credibility.

We no longer posses a critical need to know exactly what happened, or is presently happening, only that what we were and are told is not truthful. This point of view holds true for much of what we learned in history class, about 'our' government, modern medicine and even spirituality. We can free ourselves, bit by bit, to accept we may never know the 'truth' about many important things. By doing so, we now travel the previously unseen path of genuine awareness and discovery. This in turn opens up sweeping panoramas and a greater understanding of a  world once again new to us.

Perhaps the ancients are correct. It never really was about the destination, but rather the journey to live, learn and grow.



Mr. and Mrs. Cog


Like this article? Take a second to support Cognitive Dissonance on Patreon and gain access to exclusive Patreon Only articles!
Become a patron at Patreon!

18 thoughts on “Collapse Fatigue”

  1. Mr. and Mrs. Cog,
    Fantastic article,one of your best.I have read it three times since you posted it,trying to absorb it all.You told my story.It reminds me of my earlier days in the rooms listening to the oldtimers tell their story and realizing that you weren’t alone and that others did know exactly how you feel,having walked in your shoes.

    As a long time lurker on ZH,I have been following your posts for quite a while.I went there to learn about the Ponzi and eventually learned that the tentacles of the Empire went far beyond economics.Your suggestion that we are not innocent victims but were complicit in our own enslavement did not sit well with me.I resisted that idea for for some time until in a moment of reflection,realized that my objections were not coming from my intellect but from my ego.That changed everything.My ego is my worst enemy and has almost killed me more than once and if it was trying to run the show again,I needed to sit down and reexamine everything.”Believe nothing but consider everything”became part of my spiritual toolbox.

    When you started TIF,I made it part of my daily list of websites to visit and eventually joined,even if I wasn’t posting.I was still too busy learning.I felt that you and Mrs.Cog put an enormous amount of effort into this website that had helped me and countless others and my membership fee was going to a good cause.I read every article you posted and all the cross posts and deeply considered all of them.When something resonated with me I explored it further with as much of an open mind as I could achieve.I especially liked Paul Levy and Neil Kramer.As I learned and grew I developed a spiritual philosophy that keeps me sane in an insane world.Consciousness instead of consumerism.

    As the collapse slowly but surely approaches,I continue to cultivate self sufficiency while still being plugged in to the current system.I seldom discuss this with anyone.The isolation you speak of is real and I think unavoidable.We simply know far more than average person on the street.They don’t know and they don’t want to know.When I go to work or some social events,I feel like I am with Morpheus and the crew jacking into the Matrix.I think it is part of the awakening process to develop the ability to be alone without being lonely.And the others are out there,just hard to find.We all keep low profiles.

    So in conclusion,no collapse fatigue for me.My awakening may have started with alarm and fear but has turned into a thrill ride and I have no desire to go back to how things used to be.I am not who I used to be.It took a lot of work to get to this point but there are no regrets.I also keep gratitude in my heart for everybody that has helped me on my journey.I have been blessed in that at critical times of my awakening,the right people have have showed up at the the right times.When the student is ready,the teacher will appear.I include you in that group Cog and you have my sincere gratitude.

    Thanks again for the great article,

    1. Kestrel,

      You do not mention a spouse or partner in your comment. Oversight or circumstances?

      I was alone during all of my early awakening years. By choice, mind you. I found it extremely difficult dating people who had no interest looking much beyond their nose and certainly not within. In fact, I had all but given up looking and had little hope I would ever find someone who would or could be compatible.

      As it turned out, that special someone found me. Mrs. Cog and I will be celebrating five years together this Nov 2016. Best 5 years I’ve lived so far. While there are certain advantages to going it alone, there are other advantages gained from moving forward with someone else.

      By far the greatest is the addition of an additional perspective offered by someone who is both caring of you, but also willing to call you on your shit. There is much to be gained from an honest appraisal now and then. It helps keep the internal set of books honest.

      One of my favorite subjects is the ego. Mine is HUGE, and for several decades was leading my straight into self destruction. It was only when I realized my ego did not have my best interest in heart did I start treating my ego as a foreign enemy, to be guarded against, and carefully watched, at all times.

      Mrs Cog admonishes me now and then because I tend to push my ego aside and not enjoy things about myself she feels I should at least acknowledge. I agree…..but I know my ego very well. Give it an inch and it will take a mile, and my life as well if I allow it.

      I also find it difficult mixing with others who are not of the same mind. It is simply too tiresome engaging in silly useless small talk. Or worse, to dig a bit deeper and find them hopelessly engulfed in the red/blue liberal/conservative right/wrong black/white political paradigm of self enslavement. I no longer even attempt to make much more than superficial contact after sending up a few trial balloons to see if anyone is home. The vast majority of the time, the place is empty of intelligent life.

      It’s not that they are dumb or stupid, just not critical clear thinkers. Most of what comes out of their mouths was heard the night before on the boob tube or seen/read on social or mainstream media.

      No thank you.

      As you so eloquently stated, no collapse fatigue for you. It can be avoided if we are engaged in a serious and thorough self examination. Sadly, most are not even when they feel they are awake and aware.

      Thank you for you thoughtful comment. One of the best comments around here in a very long time.


      Cognitive Dissonance

    2. Like you, I’ve been a long time ‘lurker’ of ZH. I tried to join a few times, but was never successful…I just wanted to be able to up/down vote the hilarious comments. I rarely read the articles at the top of their page, but for some reason, today I did. Like you, I read the Cog’s article 3-4 times. Mr and Mrs Cog were talking about ME. Preparing for a couple decades for the collapse that has to happen has gotten very tiresome and weary. When one has a great place to be after the collapse and your kids/grandkids think you are nuts, it gets very depressing.

      1. Nunners,

        You are now among friends who are walking similar paths and pitfalls. Feel free to speak about anything you want here. And there will come a time when those who previously thought you nuts will quickly reverse their opinion and plead for information, advice and assistance.

        It is then you will pine for the old days when you were ‘just‘ shunned and ignored. :-)

        Welcome to the Insane Asylum.

        Cognitive Dissonance

        1. Thank you so much for the warm welcome Cog! I had to laugh at your one statement of “It is then you will pine for the old days when you were ‘just‘ shunned and ignored” It’s funny….my brother asked me a couple weeks ago how my kids are doing. I said ‘I don’t know, they don’t need anything at the moment….that’s the only time I hear from them”.

          Everything we do is because we want to be a ‘safe haven’ for our kids/grandkids. They just don’t know they need one…..yet. I keep hanging on to our fabulous property, with spring water running through 24/7. We have chickens and give all the eggs away. We could have a garden and grow veggies, except we don’t eat veggies. (we love meat)

          Is there another forum that would be better than this one for a discussion?

  2. Hello Mr. and Mrs. Cog,
    Its late, I’m tired and there is still a little work left before I can turn in. I just want to thank you for this article. It is such a relief knowing that others are dealing with the same thoughts and emotions that you expressed in this piece.
    Again, I’m tired and MY ego doesn’t want me to ramble on. THANK YOU BOTH for the time and thought you put into this, it shows. I will be reading it and probably commenting on it more in the future.
    Bless you both.

    1. Aces Full,

      You are very kind to heap such praise on this collaborative effort. We both feel strongly that anything we write should be from the heart and carefully crafted. We make mistakes with grammar now and then, but we are determined to produce quality articles and commentary. It is most rewarding when our readers take the time to let us know we are on the right path.

      Thank you,

      Cognitive Dissonance

      1. Hi Cog,
        Been lurking on the power grid thread on ZH. Great thread, I think I will print it out for later. I am developing a deep respect for you and Mrs. Cog well thought out plans for a self sufficient lifestyle. Like you, I too am truly blessed to have a wife that contributes mightily, I give thanks for her daily. The kids are absorbing information and knowledge that I feel will serve them well one day even though we still let them enjoy themselves and don’t burden them with excessively gloomy outlooks. We also don’t pretend life is all unicorns and rainbows with them, trying to achieve balance is key. Don’t know how you feel about harvesting wild game but if you think it would help in a bad situation I would like to recommend “Meat Trapper” on Youtube. He used to post on ZH but have not seen him there for a while now. His videos are not limited to wild game though, I think you may get something from them, maybe not, just a site that I enjoy.

        1. Aces Full,

          While I did some limited hunting when I was a young man, I have not done so in many decades. And to be honest, I have no interest in doing so for various reasons.

          My long term plan continues to be simple. Continue to develop personal skills that I already have a high proficiency in and are valuable to my neighbors. Then barter them for what I need. I allow local hunters to hunt my land. At some point if things have gotten much worse I will ask for some of what they kill in return for them using my land.

          As I have aged I have learned to work with your best personal assets. Saves time and energy in the end.

          Cognitive Dissonance

          1. Everyone asks us if we ‘hunt’. No we don’t, because we don’t need to at this point. Just this evening, when we were putting the chickens away, there was a deer right above us in the yard. They aren’t afraid of us, and shouldn’t be. I’m not a bleeding heart liberal type by any means, We just don’t need deer meat at this point.

            Thus my conundrum: having a fabulous place for when the SHTF and none of the kids appreciating it. I’d almost rather give it away to someone who could appreciate and use it then see it get lost to the government for not paying the $900/year taxes.

            1. Hi Nunners
              As far as my comments above, I don’t hunt or trap anywhere near as much as I did when I was young. Still think its a good skillset to have. Still love to fish though. As I’ve gotten older I don’t care for killing anything although I do believe humans have their place in the food chain. Want to make sure there is a real need or purpose before I harvest anything now. Its hard to convey my thoughts since I grew up hunting, fishing and trapping. Been struggling with whether to take some beaver from a huge pond they constructed years ago and find a reason not to every year. Then USDA employees show up last week saying they are under contract with DOT to remove beavers from pond where it joins road. Can’t stop them from it on their right-of-way but told them not to interfere with beaver ponds above that as they are wetlands. Also, beavers just had their young, fur is no good and meat would spoil in this heat so it would be a complete waste of a resource. It did open my eyes to maybe I need to manage the population in the winter seasons, at least I will not waste what nature provides me.
              As far as you homestead, that haunts me also, thinking my kids will lose interest. Can’t pick your family but maybe you could find a young couple who would love and appreciate your place. I’m sure such people are out there, hopefully you will find them or maybe they will find you somehow.
              Best of luck.

              1. Like I said, I’m not against killing animals or fish for survival at all. As to your last statement, “As far as you homestead, that haunts me also, thinking my kids will lose interest. Can’t pick your family but maybe you could find a young couple who would love and appreciate your place. I’m sure such people are out there, hopefully you will find them or maybe they will find you somehow.”

                I am on the lookout everyday. There is a youngster working as a janitor where I work that seems to have a good work ethic, but I don’t think he could keep this place running. One would have to know mechanics/electricity/plumbing/hunting etc. And not be afraid of the dark.

                They are a rare breed these days…..I just want to find them before I give up my ghost to the state, if you get my drift….lol. I won’t advertise it because this place could also be used/abused by evil fanatics, which would break my heart. It’s not like we could use a realtor to find someone.

                But hope springs eternal that the right person will come along.

                Also…we have to drive through 5 creeks to get in and out everyday. I’m worried about the new reg about the Feds taking over all ‘waterway’s’.

                1. Nunners,

                  It is possible to give it to a charity when you die? Maybe the boy or girl scouts or something like that? Just throwing out ideas. It’s tough to establish your own charity at your death without infusing it with a sum of money so it can pay those taxes and administer and maintain the property. But an established charity might be a different matter.

                  Might want to start asking questions around town and doing some research on online.

                  Cognitive Dissonance

  3. Fair enough.
    I do envy your skills with electricity, I can’t even tolerate static electricity. A guy that used to work for me said “I don’t mess with no electricity, I don’t mess with nothing I can’t see” :)
    Thinking of building an “experimental” off grid cabin on our property near the pond. Nothing too fancy, something on a small scale so my inevitable mistakes will be small scale also, or at least that’s the theory. Would like to do the same with a spring house and/or food cellar.
    Do you have any recommendations on solar/wind sites that are helpful, sounds like you have some experience in this area.

    1. Aces Full,

      While conducting my own research I found the altE Store ( ) to be a good site. They are there to sell you the equipment, but their prices are very competitive and their learning area ( ) is very good.

      What I particularly liked while walking up a steep learning curve was their various complete solar power kits. ( ) They break the kits down to the last bolt and wire and it is an excellent way to examine what actually goes into various PV systems at different power levels and configurations.

      It isn’t the only site you should visit, but maybe the first. Once you’ve spent some time there I’ll be more than happy to share what I’ve learned.

      Cognitive Dissonance

  4. Collapse fatigue or perceptions changing over time?

    I comment very little now, I don’t talk to many people now, I don’t share any thoughts, ideas or deep stuff with anyone, I just keep trudging for some unknown reason. Trudging, I use this version because it’s so fitting for me and MY perceptions.

    It’s truly amazing how people perceive life ( including me), so many versions, everyone thinking theirs are the right ones, the truth is no one knows.

    Mr Pepper

Comments are closed.